Well, That was Shendendoah NP!

Dear Hannah

Wow it’s been almost a week since I’ve had any decent cell service much less internet!!  So what Have I been up to…Ah yessssss….

My last real post of any substance was just after the tire fiasco… well it gets better.  So I had left Bangor Maine and spent the night somewhere in upstate NY… Very beautiful area!  I hit the road early with plans on being At Shenandoah NP around 1000.  I was told that if I got there before noon there was a good chance I could get a campsite at one of the campgrounds in the park… that was my plan (no back-up plan FYI).  I’m cruising down the interstate just north of the PA line when GrrrGrrrr Grrr Grrrr(the truck starts to shake)FluppaFluppaFluppaFluppaBANG (The truck really starts to shake) FlupFlupFlupFlupFlupFlupFlup (I’m pulling off the road) FluppityFluppityFluppityFluppityFluppityFlopFlopFlopFlopFlopMUSHHHHHHHHHHHHH (I’ve come to a stop).  Flat tire! DAMMIT!

Now if you’ve been following this stop-and-go, jerky, inconsistent blog, you will know that I have a spare, on the right sized rim, just primed for the job… not so fast! Sure its new, but that would mean I’d now have a radial tire on some side and a bias-ply on the other.  I don’t know what evil will befall anyone who commits such an act, I’ve only heard rumor, but this is bad!  Not only that, the rim previously attached to the now flattened tire is as destroyed as much as the tire… Double Dammit!!

Changing the tire could be a whole blog post unto itself!  This was not my first flat tire hence not my first rodeo.  It is my first on a trailer on the side of a busy curvy interstate loaded with big trucks whipping by at 75mph literally inches away.  I won’t go in to great detail but lets just say, had I not maintained the composure, calm and focus I did… I might have pooped just a little every time a truck rolled by… just saying.

I probably could have just pushed the envelope of stupidity and gone without a spare, but i have a history of taking back roads of questionable make-up.  A rolling google search lead me to a trailer repair shop about 30 miles down the road.  One small cash transfusion later and I’m rolling with shiny new radials on both sides and a new spare to boot (see previous posts, its confusing).  If everything goes right I should be thereby noon, in time to get a campsite in the park.

Lets talk about road construction for a bit.  If you’re going to delay traffic for 3-4 hours and back traffic up for miles and miles… at least have some construction going on for me to see when I finally get to the end.  NO SHIT!!!  I’m usually pretty Zen when I comes to dealing with things like delays and traffic and stuff… Don’t get bent out of shape about things you can’t control, Grateful Dead channel playing, windows open, plenty of gas, sunny day, got snacks… it’s all good!  I’m rolling along at like,.00001MPH for 3.5 hours and when I get to the end of it… Just a bunch of guys sitting on a big trailer full of traffic cones, not even any heavy equipment, not a scratch on the black top… nothing!  I better change the subject before I drop the eff-bomb.

Now I need gas.  Normally not a big deal really, you’ve all done it.  I pull in to a gas station, apparently along with everyone else from the traffic mess.  As I pull up in to line at a pump I hear over the PA system “All of our pumps are currently down, we are trying to reboot the system to restore power, this should take just a few minutes”.  The Truck stop became a gridlocked mess and it took about 1 1/2 hours to get gas and get out of there… now I’m 5 hours behind schedule.  This is the only day this entire trip that I actually planned on being somewhere at a certain time.  If I ever do write this in to a book I’m call this chapter “Planning, the Mother of Disappointment”.

When I finally rolled in to Strasburg VA it was about 1700 or so. I didn’t even bother with the NP and headed straight up into the GW national forest looking for the little campground that showed on my map.  I found it, pulled in to the last spot available and was done for the day, just spent!  I can’t tell you how happy I was to have found that spot!  The camp host informed me that every campground in the area fills up every weekend and that i was lucky to have gotten there when I did.  I ended up running back to town for ice etc. (I had PLANNED on having half a day to screw around doing that kind of stuff).

It ended up being a really nice area in general and I’m glad I ended up there rather than in the park the whole time.  I’ll write more about that later.  One thing that struck me as kind of sad.  As I’m sitting there by my little campfire that lovely friday night, I noticed literally dozens of cars that would pull in, the occupants would look at the big sign board and have a short discussion, and drive away.  I saw a number of disappointed children in those cars.  So many people…

Anyway Hannah.  I had better get my laundry done.  I’m taking a hotel night tonight and a slack day tomorrow so I’ll write more about the past few days.  I definately want to come back to this area!  There’s so much history around here!!

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3 thoughts on “Well, That was Shendendoah NP!

  1. Hey Jeff, I loved your post. Thanks, I really needed a laugh today:)
    “Planning, the Mother of disappointment,” describes my most recent account perfectly!
    I look forward to reading about your next adventure.
    Travel safely,
    Mary K 🙂

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